The long-term effects of fast food will be a major concern for Harare residents, according to National Community and Medical Research Trust director Dr Camillo Chinamasa.
Addressing a press conference earlier this week at Bothwell House in the CBD, Dr Chinamasa, who is also a lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe Faculty of Medicine, identified fast food as a booming industry in Harare. “It does not take a rocket scientist to notice that the growth of fast food outlets which sells what is termed ‘junk food’ will have a longtime effect of diabetes in the coming years,” explains Dr Chinamasa.
The fast food business has recorded a major growth in the past couple of years with Innscor Holdings, which owns the chain of ‘Inn’ fast food outlets, expanding its business. The company has taken over many building in the CBD converting them into takeaways. Many new players have also emerged claiming their slice of the cake, among them Bhello, Chicken Slice, and AFC.
Dr Chinamasa also identified the motor vehicle industry as another booming business with a negative bearing on health. “Many of us take it for granted that we buy cars, chauffer our children to school, back home and anywhere they want to go. We stuff them with the aforementioned fast foods not considering the longtime effects.” He said the lack of exercise and unhealthy food that comes with the ‘luxurious’ lifestyle will later contribute to a generation riddled with diabetes.
Dr Chinamasa is a medical health expert with many years in the service under his belt, having worked at Harare Hospital before moving to the University of Essex in England where he worked as a lecturer. On his return home four years ago, Dr Chinamasa joined the University of Zimbabwe.
At the press conference, Dr Chanamasa launched his research trust, which aims at conducting research on community health issues to address problems and avoid future disasters. National Community and Medical Research Trust will be working with various stakeholders in communities to improve health.